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How do I know if I'm ready to go live?
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: How do I know if I'm ready to go live? Reply with quote

Hi, I'm a new ecrater seller. I've been selling on eBay for years (no store though). Ecrater, of course, is a little different than eBay. I've had my store on Hold. I think I might be ready to go, but I don't want to launch and take a prompt nose dive like a bad paper airplane. So, here's where I am:
    - Have the general things like name logo, categories, tax, etc. set up
    - Have some inventory loaded with my prices and weights.
    - Have payment links to Paypal Express and Stripe.
    - Have my weight matrix set up as backup to USPS Calculated.
Does that sound like enough to make it fly?

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by gearupforgame on Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lastade-designs



Posts: 1914

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome,
You should also fill out your FAQ, about, terms and contact information. You can find where to add this under EDIT TEXTS in the TEXTS and COLORS section of the ADMIN.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will review that. Thank you!
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13578

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definitely fill those items in and this is your chance to look like a professional store.

I looked at your Boca Raton long sleeve T and you are missing some vital info yet. You haven't clarified in the description what size you are selling, what fabric it is made out of, washing instructions, etc. Technically your description does nothing to describe the T. Google would classify that as boilerplate, especially since all three of your Boca Raton Ts say the same thing in the description and since they are different sizes, etc. they should be saying something different.

Don't forget when going live to take done the part of your home page text that says under constrcution, etc.

Be sure that you can provide invoices for all your official sports gear as the Leagues are getting picky and they don't want to see possible pirated copies being sold.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I know I'm not quite ready to push the button yet. Some of the descriptions need some elaboration for sure. I need to get a few more items in there, too.

I guess what I'm looking for is, from a functional standpoint, am I overlooking anything that would cause the store to not work right? I am working on the additional text entries suggested.

I have my Paypal and Stripe accounts. Paypal I've had for years. The Stripe account is brand new, I've never had that before.

Now, if I just apply the ecrater linkages to enable those, they will just "work" at checkout right? Do I have to do anything on the PP side to activate that Express Checkout, or is that activated simply by the linkage in ecrater? My understanding, from reading through the posts here, is that there isn't really any way to test checkout without causing yourself potential problems.

Thanks for all the suggestions!


Last edited by gearupforgame on Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13578

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you have functional things covered. As to whether or not you need more things in your store before opening, that is a personal decision. I opened my store with one item. Some open their store with all 10-30 items of inventory that they have and will have in it but I was listing like crazy and it didn't take long to get a lot more items listed. I would just be sure that your listings that are up are done to your satisfaction.

I'm not sure how the search engines handle 'on hold' stores. I'm not sure if this still holds true, but I read that it takes up to 6 months for the search engines will look at a new site as an established site. If that is still trues, you want to get your store turned on ASAP, as I hate to say this and don't throw rotten tomatoes at me, but Christmas is only 9 months away and the shopping season starts obviously a month or two before. You want a chance at that pie of the pie for sure since you sell things that can be given as gifts.

Can't answer your question about PP express I don't remember doing anything. Sheila most likely knows.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again. I am very guilty of procrastination in getting the store open. The thing that had me stuck was that doggone weight matrix. I couldn't get my head wrapped around it. I mean, I think I sort of do now, but it seems kind of clunky compared to eBay's system where you can use carrier calculated and add a little handling charge to it.

For now I'll use USPS calculated with the matrix as the backup. I probably have the rates a little high to keep myself covered. If nothing else it might prompt a seller inquire as to why it costs $87 to ship a tee shirt to the next state, LOL!

I think once I get more used to using ecrater the shipping cost options will sink in a little better and I'll figure out some flexibility. Other than that the site seems really easy to use.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13578

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For now I'll use USPS calculated with the matrix as the backup. I probably have the rates a little high to keep myself covered. If nothing else it might prompt a seller inquire as to why it costs $87 to ship a tee shirt to the next state, LOL!


Good morning. You may not want to be doing that because most buyers myself included won't bother to ask you about the shipping, they will just pass it by. I know I would. Over the years of selling I found sellers charge what they charge. I checking the shipping rate for your Toledo shirt and found for you to ship it to PA would cost me $8.70 a padded PM envelope would run $6.30. As the only other zip code I have memorized is my old one from CA I inputted that and got $17.15 as the PM cost. Again, the padded PM envelope would run $6.30. The $8.70 charge is basically reasonable with your handling charge included, although you do get PM supplies for free. $17.15 is definitely not reasonable. While it may be for something too big and bulky to fit inside a flat rate envelope like a T-shirt would, Many clothing articles can fit in a different assortment of flat rate envelopes.

The matrix is basically easy once you get the hang of it, but once the lightbulb goes off, you want to kick yourself because it is so easy! At least I did. Of course the matrix only allows one mailing class which generally works out just fine. A customer may ask for quicker shipping and you can invoice them via PP if necessary. With the matrix you can set up the first two columns with the first being below 8ounces and the second one being below 15.9 ounces, Then the next is PM for flate rate, and depending on your inventory, you can go progressively up with the rates increasing. Someone else that sells clothing might be able to help you with that.

When I have something that just won't fall right into the matrix I will give it a flat rate shipping cost. Of course, how you want to do your shipping is your 'busines'' Very Happy , But to have 'out of sight' shipping costs for those out west might be detremental to your selling. For me the state where I get the largest amount of orders 3 years running is CA which stands to reason since it has the highest population followed by Texas.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I'm kind of gathering that. I was thinking the USPS Calculated could be over-ridden on any item by ticking Flat Rate if that's what I want for the item. Looks like it doesn't work that way. It's everything Calculated or nothing Calculated isn't it? If I turn that off I can use either Flat or Matrix item-by-item can't I?

Your description of how you utilize the matrix helps--although I'm still on dimmer a little bit. Laughing I know I will be shakin' my head when I get up to full brightness. OK, looks like I have some work to do. Thanks for going to the trouble to test a couple of my items for me. I guess I can do that myself can't I? Idea

OK WAIT -- I may have just had an epiphany. Tell me if this is right. When I indicate Weight Matrix for an item, the number that I enter in the Weight field on the item doesn't necessarily represent the real-life weight of the parcel--is that it?? i.e., if I put a "4" in there, that corresponds to the column in the matrix labeled "4" is that it?? And "I" determine what real-life cost value is associated with column 4. Is that it? Huh--is it, is it!!??

If that's the case then it isn't so much a weight matrix as it is a price matrix.
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BustedorNot



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gearupforgame

I know what you mean about the matrix, but I finally got it (I think)
My other store, I use the calculated rates.

In this store, it's basically all clothing and can go first class mail and flat rate.

I set up my chart:
Box 1 For 1-3 ounces $3.00
Box 2 For 4-6 ounces $3.30
Box 3 For 7-8 ounces $3.95
and so on
Box 12 Flat rate envelopes $6.10 (since there's a slight discount through PP)
Box 14 Larger Flat rate $10.00
Box 16 Medium Flat rate $13.00

The flat rates I also use since I will use USPS regional A boxes.

And yes, you enter 1, 2, 3 ... 12, 14 into the box for "weight" and check off matrix.

You will need to keep a crib sheet to look at when you add new items.

A lot of your shirts are probably over 1 pound and flat rate envelopes (regular and legal) would be perfect for you and you matrix chart will reflect what you need.

(Not bad from a blonde)
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13578

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
OK WAIT -- I may have just had an epiphany. Tell me if this is right. When I indicate Weight Matrix for an item, the number that I enter in the Weight field on the item doesn't necessarily represent the real-life weight of the parcel--is that it?? i.e., if I put a "4" in there, that corresponds to the column in the matrix labeled "4" is that it?? And "I" determine what real-life cost value is associated with column 4. Is that it? Huh--is it, is it!!??


Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea


What does he win Johnnie?! Absolutely correct! The way you end up 'combining' shipping is the computer just adds up the 'weights' (numbers) and whatever is in that column is what you get for your shipping amount. Those are the numbers that may need some jiggling so they come out right, but that is what you need to do. Everything I've sold runs through my matrix and I have even used it to list a few books, etc. The point here is the unless a customer asks they don't know what type of shipping they are buying technically. But much better than being presented with way off shipping quotes OR too many shipping options and of which they will always choose media even if it is a car battery!
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 3260

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Busted or Not, your plan looks like it will work fine. Just remember to keep a good crib sheet that includes the info you posted plus the "and so on" boxes. You'll not only need that information when you add new items, you'll need to refer to it when the shipping rates change.

@gearupforgame, Your store is looking good. Your info on your text pages is good. The search engines do index the text pages so it is to your advantage to add keywords to your product selection in the text. I'm not suggesting keyword spamming by any means, but it wouldn't hurt to mention your products on the about me page. You use the word "Gear" in your store title and on your about me page, but you never explain what type of gear you sell. You could be selling camping gear, boating gear, ballet dancing gear, etc. Use you space to say what type of things you are searching "far and wide" to find. If this is the page the search engine happens to index, you want to be sure it peaks the interest of a possible customer.

gearupforgame wrote:
I have my Paypal and Stripe accounts. Paypal I've had for years. The Stripe account is brand new, I've never had that before.

Now, if I just apply the ecrater linkages to enable those, they will just "work" at checkout right? Do I have to do anything on the PP side to activate that Express Checkout, or is that activated simply by the linkage in ecrater? My understanding, from reading through the posts here, is that there isn't really any way to test checkout without causing yourself potential problems.
It's been so long since I signed up, I really don't remember too much but I do know for sure there is NOTHING you need to do on PayPal to get PayPal Express to work on eCrater. In you admin, PayPal express should say "PayPal Express Checkout is currently linked to your store" and give the email address of the PayPal account linked. Stripe should say "Stripe is currently linked to your store" and give the email address used to link Stripe. I did notice in your Terms you say, "We ship only to the address received from the payment processor." You will not receive an address from Stripe. The customer enters their address in the eCrater checkout, that info is sent to Stripe who contacts the customer's credit card bank. Not all credit card banks actually verify the address. Stripe will return the answer received from the customer's credit card bank as to whether the charge is approved or denied. Sometimes you may receive a notice that the charge is approved, but the address did not match because the customer isn't shipping to the billing address. We do have the option of only allowing the billing address for Stripe orders.

I'm working on some information on using eCRATER Shipping. You have posted your email address on your contact page so I sent you a copy of my information. Let me know if it is helpful.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much to everyone!

I have updated my matrix prices. The tough part is the increasing USPS rates for the outer USPS zones. Nobody in the next state is going to want to pay the rate that a zone 8 resident would have to pay.

I've based my rates on USPS Retail rates. To come up with my rates I have used the following reasoning:

1) The weight range of most of my items is going to be no more than 3 lbs. each, if that.

2) My clientele for this store is going to be somewhat regional--for the most part within USPS Zone 5 based on my location.

My first two matrix columns represent my 1st Class Package ranges. 1 to 6 oz. and 7-13 oz.

I may have some tweaking to do yet, but beyond 13 oz. I've tried to structure my S/H charges to try to keep rates palatable through USPS zone 5 and then hopefully not take too bad a beatin' to destinations beyond zone 5. Zone 6 isn't too bad. Beyond 6--for items over a couple pounds I can always explore using a carrier other than USPS for a more favorable rate.


Last edited by gearupforgame on Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13578

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First class mail now goes up to 15.9 ounces and costs a little over $4.00. That may be only with on line postage of which there are several options. I use endicia.

Also flat rate envelopes don't change in price no matter how much they weigh, although there is a point when you can't stuff anything more in safely.

The possiblity of using a different carrier is a good possiblity since yu haven't auranteed which type of shipping you will use. Just be sure that you get a tracking number of some sort in case you get a negative feedback because something took too long or didn't show up.
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gearupforgame



Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MoonwishesStore wrote:
First class mail now goes up to 15.9 ounces and costs a little over $4.00. That may be only with on line postage of which there are several options. I use endicia.

That was a surprise to me. I see on the USPS site that 'Retail' 1st Class Parcel only goes up to 13 oz. If I look at 'Commercial' 1st Class it goes up to 15.999 oz. So, I logged into my PP account and started a 'print shipping label' and sure enough it took 15oz for 1st Class. I did not know that...which once again proves...I am not up to full brightness yet.
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